Attorneys For

Injured Cyclists

Attorneys For
Injured Cyclists

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Our firm has more than 100 years of combined experience helping those who have been harmed by the wrongful acts of others.

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Everything we do, we do with the goal of excellence. Our clients' futures depend upon it. We never cut corners and we never take the easy way out, welcoming the chance to go to trial for clients when necessary.

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We believe in “liberty and justice for all.” We believe in trial by jury. We believe in our ability to help you recover.

Portland, Oregon Bicycle Accident Attorney

Cyclists are among the most vulnerable road users with little to protect them in collisions.  When they are struck by motor vehicles, they often suffer devastating injuries.

Although Portland is an extremely bicycle-friendly city, bicycle accidents still happen. On a national level, at least one bicyclist is killed in an accident every six hours.

Paulson Coletti Trial Attorneys PC is home to Portland bicycle accident attorneys who have a reputation for helping clients in uniquely difficult circumstances. We are also avid cyclists ourselves. In fact, Chuck Paulson still rides regularly a few days a week. We even joined him in riding 80 miles on his 80th birthday.

With our extensive experience, we understand how insurance companies approach bicycle accident claims and how to build strong cases for our clients. We understand the issues involved, where to look for evidence, and what injured cyclists will need to move forward.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a bicycle accident, you deserve justice. Contact Paulson Coletti today to learn more and schedule your free consultation. Call us at (503) 862-8712 or contact us online to get started.

Portland Bicycle Accident Resources

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Reputable Advocacy from A Portland Bicycle Accident Attorney

For our exceptional efforts pursuing justice on behalf of bicycle accident victims, Paulson Coletti Trial Attorneys PC was named to the list of “Best Law Firms” by U.S. News in the practice area of personal injury litigation – plaintiffs. We have secured multiple successful verdicts for bicycle accident victims in Portland and throughout Multnomah County, including:

  • A confidential settlement for a bicyclist run over by a commercial garbage truck.
  • Confidential settlement for a cyclist hit by a car causing brain damage
  • $929,000 verdict for a bicyclist who sustained a serious head injury

Our Portland personal injury lawyers understand the challenges you are facing after a bicycle accident. We know that you may have many questions as you approach the possibility of taking legal action to pursue justice after your accident. We are here to answer those questions. Portland Bicycle Accident Attorney

How Can Attorney Help With a Bicycle Accident Claim?

The reality is that a bicycle accident lawyer in Portland will be a significant asset when it comes to recovering compensation for your claim. Often, at-fault parties in these situations place blame on the bicyclist for the incident. This is not fair, but when a person works with an attorney, they will have an advocate who can push back against these allegations. The role of a lawyer will include fully investigating the incident, which means uncovering all evidence needed to prove liability. In some cases, an attorney may need to liaise with an accident reconstruction expert who can provide 3D computer models based on science and math to the insurance carrier or to a personal injury jury. While an investigation is ongoing, a lawyer will work with trusted economic and medical experts to adequately calculate the total expected economic and non-economic damages the victim will likely incur. Using this information, the attorney will vigorously negotiate to recover fair compensation settlement offers from the insurance carrier. If necessary, a lawyer will fully prep the entire case for a jury trial.

Share the Road with Cyclists

The Portland bicycle accident attorneys at Paulson Coletti Trial Attorneys PC are strong advocates for road safety, particularly for bicyclists who share the road with cars and trucks. Bicyclists are at a disadvantage due to their size, making it difficult for motorists to see them. Cyclists are also more vulnerable to injury due to their exposure to the open road. We encourage all motorists to share the road and watch out for bicyclists.

Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents in Portland

Portland, a city renowned for its vibrant cycling culture, unfortunately, is not immune to bicycle accidents. The prevalence of bicycle accidents in Portland can be attributed to several factors:

  • The Negligence of Motorists: This includes drivers failing to yield the right of way, opening car doors without checking for oncoming cyclists (‘dooring’), and making unsafe turns at intersections. Speeding and distracted driving further exacerbate the risk.
  • Road Conditions: Portland’s varied terrain and weather conditions contribute to bicycle accidents. Potholes, uneven road surfaces, and poorly maintained bike lanes create hazards. Additionally, wet or icy conditions can reduce tire traction, increasing the likelihood of bicycle accidents.
  • Cyclist Errors: Bicycle accidents often occur when cyclists violate traffic laws, such as running red lights or stop signs, riding against traffic, or making unsafe lane changes. Lack of visibility, especially at night, due to inadequate lighting or reflective gear also plays a role.
  • Infrastructure Issues: In some areas, the lack of dedicated bike lanes forces cyclists to share the road with motor vehicles, increasing collision risks. Even where bike lanes exist, they may be inadequately separated from vehicular traffic.

Understanding these common causes of bicycle accidents is not only crucial for cyclists and drivers alike but also forms the basis of legal claims where liability for a bicycle accident must be established.

Protecting Your Rights After a Bicycle Accident

Bicycling is increasing in popularity in Oregon, Washington, and throughout The Pacific Northwest as an eco-friendly form of transportation, exercise, and recreation. Unfortunately, some motorists have failed to adjust their driving to accommodate for the increasing number of cyclists. Of all annual bike accident victims in the U.S., close to one million are children. These statistics underscore the daily dangers cyclists face, and they highlight the importance of protecting victims of bicycle accidents. Approximately 75% of serious and fatal bicycle accidents involve head injuries. Other common examples of bike accident injuries include:

Recovering After A Bicycle Accident

Injuries after a bicycle accident can range from aches and pains to traumatic brain injury that can permanently change your life. Our attorneys have unmatched knowledge of Oregon bike law and will work tirelessly with your insurance company and health insurance company so you don’t have to worry about medical bills and medical expenses. Your primary goal should be recovery, not paperwork. When you take us on as your Portland bicycle accident lawyer, we want you to feel as though you are taken care of. Regardless of whether you were injured on a defective bicycle or a car hit you, we’ve got your back.

Compensation Available for a Portland Bicycle Accident Case

Bicycle accident victims in Portland should be able to recover a wide range of types of compensation if another driver or entity was responsible for the accident. Our attorneys will work diligently to recover economic and non-economic losses on behalf of every client that we assist.

  • Economic damages revolve around the types of losses that typically come to mind related to injuries and property damage. This includes coverage of hospital bills, lost wages if a person cannot work, payment for damaged bicycles, various out-of-pocket expenses that may arise, and more. Economic damages, also referred to as special damages, can be calculated by gathering any invoices, receipts, or bills that come in after the incident occurs.
  • Non-economic damages are not the same as the economic losses mentioned above. Also referred to as general damages, these types of losses are more immeasurable because they revolve around “unseen” injuries. This includes a bicycle accident victim’s physical and emotional pain and suffering and loss of quality of life caused by the incident.

There is no set amount of compensation paid to bicycle accident victims in Portland. Rather, the total amount a person receives if their claim is successful will revolve around the severity of the injuries, whether or not there was any shared fault, the level of property damage, how long it takes to recover, and other factors. Calculating the economic damages involves adding up the total measurable losses that can be documented with receipts, bills, and invoices. However, properly calculating non-economic damages is a bit more challenging. Often, an attorney will use a multiplier method where they will take the total economic damages and then multiply this by a set number to reach a non-economic total. Alternatively, an attorney may use a per diem method to assign a dollar value to every day a person is expected to experience pain and suffering.

How is Liability Determined After These Incidents?

Determining liability after a bicycle crash in Portland can be challenging but certainly not impossible. However, we do strongly recommend you work with a skilled attorney who has experience handling bicycle accident claims. It is very likely that the at-fault party and their insurance carrier will push back from having to pay out full compensation or from having to pay compensation at all. The only way to successfully conclude a bicycle accident insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit is to prove my ability. This will be done by gathering as much evidence as possible, which can include the following:

  • Photographs taken at the scene of the incident
  • Video surveillance footage from cameras nearby
  • Statements taken from eyewitnesses to the incident
  • Any police or accident reports related to the crash
  • Vehicle black box data
  • Proof of any citations issued to another driver
  • Information related to the injuries and injury locations

In many cases, the evidence mentioned above will paint a clear picture of who was at fault for the incident. However, fault is not always clear right away, and it may be necessary to work with accident reconstruction experts who can use the data gathered as well as computer and 3D modeling. Accident reconstructionists can help provide testimony to insurance carriers or to a personal injury jury to help prove what happened in the case. Proving liability and gathering evidence is a time-consuming process, and it does cost money. However, a skilled lawyer will use their resources to handle this part of the process on behalf of their client. They will be the ones to handle the upfront costs and will typically only collect legal fees after the claim is settled.

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Steps to Take After a Bike Crash in Portland

If you or somebody you care about has been injured in a bicycle crash in Portland, there are various steps that you can take immediately and in the days and weeks that follow to help ensure that you recover adequate compensation for your losses.

  1. Call the police. Immediately after an accident between a bicycle and another vehicle, it is imperative to call 911 and let the police come to the scene. A police officer needs to investigate and fill out a police report that can be made available to the insurance carriers. Additionally, a dispatcher can send medical personnel to the scene if there are injuries to anybody involved. It is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to getting the right people to the scene to help out.
  2. Seek medical care. Any bicyclist injured in an accident with another vehicle needs to seek medical treatment immediately. For severe injuries that are obvious, this means taking an ambulance to the hospital for emergency treatment. However, even if a person does not go to the hospital in an ambulance, they need to go to an emergency department to be evaluated by a doctor. Some bicycle accident injuries may not appear until hours or days after the incident occurs, but a doctor may be able to identify them and begin treatment earlier than that. Additionally, seeking immediate medical care helps establish that any injuries you sustained actually happened in the accident with another vehicle.
  3. Collect evidence. In many cases, there is time at the scene of the incident to begin gathering evidence. The injured bicyclist may not be able to do this on their own, but they may be able to ask others to take photographs of everything around the scene, including vehicles involved, the basic all, injuries, debris or skid marks, traffic patterns, traffic signs, and more. Additionally, if you see any eyewitnesses around the scene of a bicycle accident, get their names and contact information written down immediately.
  4. Report the incident. Individuals need to report the incident to their insurance carrier if they have auto insurance. In many cases, these claims will be resolved through settlements with the insurance carriers. It may not seem like reporting the incident to your car insurance carrier will matter, but it does. Often, your auto insurance will help pay for some damages while awaiting a settlement from the other party.
  5. Stay off social media. We encourage all bicycle accident victims to stay off of social media with any posts relating to the incident, their injuries, or the recovery process. Anything posted on social media could end up being used against the bicycle accident victim. Something as simple as opposed about going to a baseball game or to the lake could jeopardize an injury claim.
  6. Call an attorney. Bicycle accident victims need to work with an attorney immediately. The sooner an attorney gets involved, the quicker they can begin gathering evidence and communicating with other parties to recover a fair settlement. Ideally, a Portland bicycle accident attorney will be involved before the victim has a chance to speak to any other parties involved, including insurance carriers.
  7. Continue medical treatment. Finally, it is imperative for bicycle accident victims to continue all medical treatment recommended by their doctor. This is an overlooked aspect of injury claims. Often, individuals discontinue care as soon as they begin to feel better, but this could jeopardize the overall claim. This continuing care against the advice of a doctor could be taken as a sign by insurance carriers or adult parties that the injury is not or was not as severe as previously stated.

Portland Bicycle Accident Lawyer

The Rights and Obligations of Bicyclists in Portland

The rights and obligations of bicyclists in Portland are shaped by state and local laws, designed to balance safety and efficiency on the roads. These laws address a spectrum of scenarios, from daily commutes to recreational rides, ensuring that cyclists’ rights are respected while outlining their responsibilities for safe riding practices. This legal framework is crucial for maintaining order and safety on Portland’s diverse and busy streets. In Portland, Oregon, bicyclists’ rights and responsibilities extend beyond basic road rules:

  • Right to the Road: Bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as motor vehicle drivers. This includes adhering to traffic signals, signs, and lane markings.
  • Signal Requirements: Cyclists must use hand signals to indicate turns and stops, ensuring clear communication with other road users.
  • Passing Laws: Bicyclists are allowed to pass on the left or right, depending on the situation, but must do so safely.
  • Stop as Yield Law: Oregon’s unique law allows cyclists to treat stop signs as yield signs, prioritizing momentum while still ensuring safety.
  • Bicycles in Vehicle Lanes: Cyclists must use bike lanes where available, except when making turns, avoiding hazards, or when the lane is obstructed. When bike lanes are absent, cyclists have the right to occupy a full vehicle lane, especially to avoid hazards.
  • Sidewalk Riding: While riding on sidewalks is generally permissible, cyclists must yield to pedestrians and give an audible warning when overtaking them.
  • Liability in Accidents: Bicyclists could be held partly responsible under Oregon’s comparative negligence law if they contribute to an accident.
  • Helmet Laws: Helmets are mandatory for riders under 16. While not required for adults, they are strongly recommended for safety.
  • Lighting and Reflective Equipment: Bicycles must be equipped with a front light visible from 500 feet and a rear red reflector or light when riding at night.

Knowing your legal rights is equally important, whether you’re a daily commuter or a weekend cyclist. For those injured in bicycle accidents, seeking knowledgeable legal representation to help assert your rights can be a decisive step towards justice and fair compensation for your injuries and related losses.

What is Being Done to Protect Bicyclists in Portland?

Only about 33% of all bike accidents involve automobiles, but these collisions account for the majority of serious injuries and fatalities. Drivers must learn to share the road, and legislative reform is a key contributing factor in this endeavor. Many states are now enacting new laws to help protect cyclists and many cities are installing bike lanes, bike signals and bike-accessible trails to help protect cyclists. Another important aspect of protecting cyclists, however, is the ability to take legal action after a collision in which an automobile driver was at fault. A Portland car accident lawyer is ready to take on your case and fight to secure a fair recovery on your behalf.

Contact Us Today For a Free Consultation

To learn more, or to schedule a free case evaluation with a Portland bicycle accident lawyer, please call Paulson Coletti Trial Attorneys PC today.

If you or a loved one were seriously hurt as a result of negligence, contact us to discuss your legal options.